Boxing pundits would say T&T's Aaron Prince was the cause of his own demise. And it might well be so.
The T&T middleweight boxer in his debut fight of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan early on Monday morning, was beaten by Slovakia's Andrej Csemez 4-0 in a unanimous decision.
Prince's decision to employ a defensive strategy in the opening round proved to be nothing but an invitation to treat, which Csemez duly accepted, pounding away at his 35-year-old opponent.
Judges ticked away as the T&T boxer, after waiting for more than a decade to enter the Olympic boxing ring, was facing a baptism of fire.
Then came the defining moment of the round when a powerful right punch by Csemez sent Prince's gloves to the canvas, a development that constituted a knockout.
Coach Rawlson Dopwell and Manager Reynold Cox sought to change Prince's approach in the second and third rounds, a decision that led to Prince scoring points in spurts. Csemez however, did not make things easy for Prince, and eluded the Trinidadian's fierce swipes, while tagging him at the same time, with a display of lateral movement and jabs, while landing the big punches when he could have.
The Slovakian was also guilty of excessive holding as Prince charged, but in the end, one judge ruled the contest a tie, while four others ruled in favour of the Slovakian.
Cox, after the bout, said his fighter did not execute properly on their strategy.
Prince too responded to the fight, saying: "My motivation has not diminished one bit. I am 35 years old and my condition is on par with the best athletes in the world. I've been asked this question many times, will I go to another Olympics. That fight made that decision for me because I wanted a podium finish, I didn't get it this time around. Had he (Csemez) not been allowed to hold on so much, he would have been down. So Paris 2024, look out."